An online campaign has raised more than $46,000 to help the Wake Forest Police Department’s newest officer, whose wife died unexpectedly March 19.
Dave Cohen, 29, started his job with the Wake Forest police last week. Cohen’s wife, 30-year-old Jamie, became ill during his first shift and died the next day. The couple have two children, 4-year-old Asher and 2-year-old Mason.
Jamie Cohen contracted a bacterial infection that traveled into her bloodstream, said Denise Jackson, a former Asheville police officer who helped create a fundraiser for the Cohen family on the website giveforward.com.
Cohen previously worked as an officer for the Asheville Police Department in western North Carolina. The Cohens moved to Wake Forest to be closer to Jamie’s family in the eastern part of the state, Jackson said.
About 20 Wake Forest police officers attended Jamie’s funeral in Edgecombe County on Sunday. Chaplains from the department helped perform the funeral ceremony and the motorcycle unit led the precession, Jackson said.
“The Wake Forest Police Department is a family, and any time we lose one of our members, we all mourn,” Wake Forest Police Chief Jeff Leonard said in an email.
Members of the Asheville Police Department also attended the funeral.
“It was very moving to see Wake Forest Police come out the way they did,” said Jackson, who attended a police academy with Dave Cohen in 2012. “They came out like he was already family.”
Dave and Jamie Cohen attended East Carolina University at the same time. Jackson said they met while working at a sports bar in Greenville.
They married in 2011 and had a celebration – Jamie’s dream wedding – in 2014.
“Everyone just loved Jamie,” Jackson said. “She was so vibrant and fun and happy.”
Cohen hasn’t worked for Wake Forest police long enough to receive paid time off. Money raised through Give Forward will allow him to take time off work and to figure out logistics for caring for his children alone, Jackson said.
“He was just starting a career, he doesn’t have the wife at home to take care of the kids,” Jackson said. “We wanted to provide the opportunity to mourn and be with his boys and use the money to do whatever he needs to do to get through this.”
Cohen posted a message on the fundraising site on Sunday. He recalled Jamie as his rock and biggest fan.
“She supported me and my law enforcement career to the fullest,” he wrote. “She was always there for me after a hard night at work. She knew even if I didn’t want to talk about the calls I had been on just a simple hug, kiss and ‘It’s going to be alright,’ would somehow make everything better.”
Want to donate?
To donate money to Dave Cohen, a Wake Forest police officer whose wife died March 19, go to www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/g458/the-cohen-family-support-fund.